4th of July Tea Parties

New Tea Parties are scheduled for the 4th of July.


Additionally, I think we do ourselves a disservice when we argue that these Tea Parties are about money. Debts, deficits, and the loss of some amount of money in the form of taxes are important but not, ultimately, what we protest. We protest an ideology that has politicians using the coercive power of government to forcibly take what rightfully belongs to one person to give to another who, most of the time, voted for those very politicians. I want people to have the choice to give some of what they rightfully earn to others, but, far more importantly, I also want them to have the choice not to. We protest an ideology that does not give us that choice. We protest an ideology that does not give us the right to say no.

The Tea Parties are ostensibly about money, but they are ultimately about morality. This is the argument that must be made.


RICHARD HEFFNER: Professor Friedman, let me, let me ask you what may turn out to be a long and rather convoluted question. You’ve said that the objectives of the people who have created Social Security programs and the people who want to provide for the aged, who want to provide for the poor, who want to achieve objectives that I would identify with Minimum Wage and Social Security, that the objectives were valid. And you share them.


RICHARD HEFFNER: Now, if you share them, how would you have achieved those objectives?

MILTON FRIEDMAN: The only way you can achieve them.


MILTON FRIEDMAN: …in my opinion, which is by voluntary cooperative action. You see, I think there’s been one underlying basic fallacy in this whole set of Social Security and Welfare measures. And that is the fallacy — this is at the bottom of it — the fallacy that it is feasible and possible to do good with other people’s money. Now, you see that fallacy — that view — has two flaws. If I want to do good with other people’s money I’d first have to take it away from them. That means that the welfare state philosophy of doing good with other people’s money, at its very bottom, is a philosophy of violence and coercion. It’s against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, very few people spend other people’s money as carefully as they spend their own.

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